Valley's GOP congressmen criticize stimulus package
The latest round of COVID-19 relief was pegged as a victory for Pennsylvanians by Democrats while the Valley’s two Republican Congressmen blasted the $1.9 trillion package after voting against the bill, which President Joe Biden is expected to sign on Friday.
The bill signed by the House of Representatives 220-211 Wednesday will lead to direct payments of $1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $2,800 for a married couple that files jointly, plus $1,400 per dependent. It also extends emergency unemployment benefits and increases the tax break to $3,000 for every child age 6 to 17 and $3,600 for every child under the age of 6.
Noting that Congress passed five bipartisan relief bills in 2020 totaling $3.7 trillion, Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican representing the 9th District, calls the latest bill “excessive.”
“Democrat Leadership wants to spend another $2 trillion on an excessive spending bill that directs just 1% towards vaccines and provides far beyond what is needed to fuel our continued recovery,” he said. “States will receive $350 billion, on top of the $500 billion already allocated, despite the fact that in many states, revenue is actually up. Significantly supplemented unemployment compensation will be extended through September, even as businesses need employees to return to the workforce and fill open positions. When we should be focused on economic recovery, getting our children back to school, and vaccine distribution, Democrats are intent on passing legislation that caters to special interests, while also enormously expanding our national debt and the role of the federal government in our lives.”
“The American Rescue Plan will deliver historic relief to Pennsylvania families and workers,” said Sen. Bob Casey. “When President Biden signs the bill into law, that means money for schools, vaccines and people.”
Rep. Fred Keller, a Republican from the 12th District, said the bill isn’t COVID relief. He notes less than 10 percent of the funding goes to public health.
“Before Congress spends another cent of the people’s money to address the pandemic, we must first drive out the funds already appropriated, $1 trillion of which has yet to be spent,” Keller said. “Washington Democrats’ endless spending on non-COVID related items is reckless and only serves to hurt those who they claim to help. Americans need relief that is temporary, targeted, and tied to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this bill fails on each of those benchmarks, and our kids and grandkids will be paying for it in higher taxes and lost opportunities for generations to come.”